The message of this book could not be more appropriate or timely. Louis Bohtlingk offers an inspiringly simple yet far-reaching idea for transforming our economy and the world of finance so that it supports, rather than undermines, our human needs and those of our planet. He suggests that, by changing the way we think and feel about money, transforming our approach from a money-first to a care-first attitude, we can all help to create a better world in which greed and fear no longer dominate our financial decisions, and caring and compassion become our primary guides when making money-related choices. Bohtlingk shares his vision for a love-based economy and a care-first world, using examples of businesses, organizations, communities, and individuals who have made this approach work for them and those they serve. Through Dare to Care you will come to view finance and economics from a new perspective, one which urges you to reorganize your approach to money and so become empowered to act and achieve a care-first worldview.
I hold a belief some people may think is inconceivable. I believe that, despite the magnitude of the problems afflicting our financial and economic worlds, we, the people, are fully capable of redesigning and re-making those worlds. I believe that we each can claim our power and capacity to resolve these issues and work together. I see it as a co-operation between all people: those of us in government, the corporate world, or in whatever job we have or do not have. It is with each other, not against one another.
It is important to face the situation we are in and learn to understand the financial-economic set up we are working with. We shouldn't say that it is too complicated for us to understand and leave it to others (the experts) to resolve it for us. Financial and economic matters affect our daily lives, our relationships and even our health in a profound manner. The world of money, goods and services is something we all can understand quite easily.
In my first phone conversation with Hazel Henderson (a futurist and campaigner for socially responsible economics), that led to us deciding to produce Dare To Care together, I shared an inspiration with her:
'Hazel, humanity needs to clarify to itself which direction it needs to take with its economic world view. What is the Vision needed to create a sustainable economic future for generations to come? I see the world as being very confused in the sense that money is too much of a focus and real living is not. We have a culture where the forces of fear, greed, selfishness, possessiveness and desire for power have created a huge shadow, causing a lot of harm. A certain amount of this harm is unintentional and comes from ignorance. We, as humanity, do not know enough about how to claim our strength and create the world we want. We need to create a road map to the future with principles that everyone understands and can apply. I want to show that living from the heart is sustainable or to say it more strongly, is the only choice we have to establish a new foundation for our economies.'
In November 2010 I travelled to Florida, where Hazel lives, and wrote the basic draft of Dare To Care in three weeks (all 21 chapters) with her assistance. On November 1st 2011 it was released by Cosimo in New York.
I quote from Cosimo's Press Release:
Creating a caring world
' Cosimo Books is proud to release a new financial book that offers a plan to end our current financial crisis: Dare to Care - a New Book That Will Change Our Financial Attitude and Future For the Better.'
Money can be a tool for creating a cold and unhappy world, but also can become a beautiful tool for creating a caring world. Sounds like a pipe dream? Well I don't think it is. How can daring to care in our life really help us to change things for the better?
By moving from a money-first to a care-first attitude and letting care lead the way in our financial transactions and choices. This means we use money in service to our values and the well-being of all people and living systems of the Earth and not at their expense.
Dare To Care gives many examples of organisations, businesses and financial institutions who apply this. For example when we chase money, but do not take care of our health, harm the environment or underpay our workers, we create a cold, money-first world.But what happens in the care-first business model?
We pay our employees to express our appreciation for their work and who they are. We pay our suppliers to show gratitude for their service and support their business. Our customers gladly pay us when we provide quality and good service. We buy the things we need from organisations whose values we support. We make, provide and sell goods and services in ways that are supportive of others and of our Earth, and not just of ourselves.
In this way, fair profits can be made by us all, as a well deserved added value above cost, by which we are being supported in our livelihood. We make the financial exchanges between one another fair and mutually supportive.
It is a win-win situation for all. It is caring and supportive; it is real togetherness and sharing. The way of the heart is fully applicable in business.
Did you know that only about 10% of the money going round on the planet can be seen in real terms of exchanging goods and services and supporting one another, while the remaining 90% is being speculated with, in the global casino of our money markets!!! Here we have gone off at a tangent, too often being very irresponsible, selfish and greedy, with far too much focus on me and how much I can get for me.
In Dare To Care I recommend that we embrace the concept of 'Global Financial Commons', seeing money more as a common good for all, like water, air and sunlight, something we need to care about together. We are all held accountable for the quality of our financial dealings as to how they affect and serve the well being of our communities and Earth.
To centre our economic-financial systems in the forces of the heart can seem like a huge task, a foray into completely new and unexplored territory. But in many ways it is not. It is all about the application of basic human values known to us all: fairness, and care for one another and our environment. These values create new principles like Care-First and sustainability. Let money be the container for these positive energies instead of being an instrument for the forces of fear and greed.
As we walk through the maze we need to make some big changes. They will be our stepping stones towards the future. Dear friends, I know we can do it! We have the heart, knowledge and resourcefulness to make it happen. So let's tip the scales towards the positive and move forward with courage to empower ourselves and each other to create a sane financial reality for all!